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  • News

    Mice lack stem cells in the heart needed for self-repair

    There’s some bad news for people who have suffered heart attacks: Healing may not come from within.

    Researchers have debated for years whether hearts have their own stem cells. If they existed, those cells could produce new heart muscle cells and might help the organ repair itself after injury. Now that debate may finally be over. After following the fate of dividing cells in the hearts...

    12/19/2018 - 10:53 Cells
  • News

    Tumor ‘organoids’ may speed cancer treatment

    SAN DIEGO — Collecting cancer cells from patients and growing them into 3-D mini tumors could make it possible to quickly screen large numbers of potential drugs for ultra-rare cancers. Preliminary success with a new high-speed, high-volume approach is already guiding treatment decisions for some patients with recurring hard-to-treat cancers.

    “Believe it or not, for some rare cancers...

    12/17/2018 - 12:00 Cancer, Biomedicine, Cells
  • News in Brief

    Biologists are one step closer to creating snake venom in the lab

    SAN DIEGO — Labs growing replicas of snakes’ venom glands may one day replace snake farms.

    Researchers in the Netherlands have succeeded in growing mimics of venom-producing glands from multiple species of snakes. Stem cell biologist Hans Clevers of the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht, the Netherlands, reported the creation of these organoids on December 10 at a joint meeting of the...

    12/11/2018 - 14:08 Cells
  • News in Brief

    Getting goose bumps could boost hair growth

    SAN DIEGO — Getting goose bumps doesn’t just make hairs stand on end; it may also help hair grow.

    Nerves and muscles that raise goose bumps also stimulate stem cells in the skin to make hair follicles and grow hair. Ya-Chieh Hsu, a stem cell researcher at Harvard University, reported the unpublished findings December 9 at the joint meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology and the...

    12/11/2018 - 06:00 Cells
  • News

    These new tweezers let scientists do biopsies on living cells

    It’s like the world’s smallest game of “Operation.” A new set of nanotweezers can extract DNA and other single molecules from a living cell without killing it.

    Examining the molecular contents of a single cell has traditionally required killing the cell by bursting it open. But that process provides only a single snapshot of the cell’s molecular makeup at the time of its death. The new...

    12/03/2018 - 11:00 Cells, Technology
  • News

    Dads, not just moms, can pass along mitochondrial DNA

    Some dads have broken a textbook genetic rule. Fathers in three unrelated families passed mitochondria — tiny energy factories found in cells — on to their children, researchers report.

    Scientists have long thought that children inherited mitochondria exclusively from their mothers, since mitochondria from the father’s sperm are usually destroyed after fertilizing the egg (SN: 1/1/00, p...

    12/03/2018 - 06:00 Cells, Genetics
  • News

    A patch studded with tiny needles may help heart attack survivors recover

    A new type of implantable bandage could help mend broken hearts.

    Each bandage is a thin film that oozes a cocktail of molecules to heal tissue damaged during a heart attack. In experiments with rats and pigs, these patches helped minimize scarring and preserve the heart’s ability to pump blood, researchers report online November 28 in Science Advances. Such devices could someday curb...

    11/28/2018 - 14:03 Biomedicine, Cells, Health, Technology
  • News

    A mash-up of yeast and E. coli shows how mitochondria might have evolved

    Yeast intentionally stuffed with bacteria may teach scientists something about the origins of cells’ powerhouses.

    Cellular power-generating organelles, called mitochondria, are thought to have once been bacteria captured by archaea, single-celled microbes that are one of the earliest forms of life. Now, almost all eukaryotic cells (cells with a nucleus) contain mitochondria. At first,...

    11/05/2018 - 06:00 Evolution, Cells
  • Feature

    How to make organ transplants last

    Trent Jackson’s life changed abruptly in early 2015. The computer engineer thought he had the flu. His then-wife, Donna Sylvia, thought differently. His skin was turning a dark golden yellow, almost brown, “like he was getting some kind of weird tan,” she says. On Wednesday, January 28, Sylvia and Jackson’s brother Todd finally persuaded Jackson to see a doctor.

    Sylvia’s suspicions were...

    10/21/2018 - 05:00 Immune Science, Cells, Clinical Trials
  • News

    Gene editing creates mice with two biological dads for the first time

    For the first time, researchers have created mice with two dads. No female contributed to the rodents’ genetic makeup.

    This unusual reproduction took place in a lab where researchers gathered fathers’ stem cells, and used them to produce embryos that were implanted into surrogate mothers. The technique required scientists to edit the animals’ genes in order for the mice to mature enough...

    10/11/2018 - 12:02 Cells, Development